By Richard Peterson
These inquiries were posted on an Australian tourism Web site and the answers are the actual responses by the Web site officials, who obviously have a great sense of humor (not to mention a low tolerance threshold for idiots!).
Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (inquiry from the United Kingdom).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.
Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you’ve been drinking.
Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney — can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it’s only three thousand miles. Take lots of water.
Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?
Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia ? (USA)
A: A-Fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe.
Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific, which does not . . . Oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.
Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the directions.
Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.
Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys’ Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is . . . Oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.
Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? (UK)
A: You are a British politician, right?
Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunters/gatherers.
Milk is illegal.
Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.
Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It’s a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)
A: It’s called a drop bear. They are so called because they drop out of gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them.
You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.
Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.
Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.
Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you’ll have to learn it first.
Here are some interesting quotes that came to me by e-mail:
"I’ve never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body,"
— Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward.
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country."
— Mayor Marion Barry,
"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass and I’m just the one to do it!"
— A congressional
candidate in Texas
"Half this game is ninety percent mental."
— Philadelphia Phillies
manager, Danny Ozark
"It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."
— Al Gore, Vice President
"I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix."
— Dan Quayle
"We’ve got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
— Lee Iacocca
"We don’t necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types of people."
— Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instructor "Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances."
— Department of Social
Services, Greenville, SC
"Traditionally, most of Australia’s imports come from overseas."
— Keppel Enderbery
"If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at night as they go to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the night.
And the next morning, when they wake up dead, there’ll be a record."
— Mark S. Fowler